August 2009


                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                               August 4, 2009



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the lobby at the University Inn at 6:00pm

on August 4, 2009.


The following members of the Council were present:

Dick Iobst

Gene Tweedy

Jim Wallace, Mayor


The following Non-Council members were present:

Jim Weir, Finance Officer

Clark Corwin, Planning Board

Kolleen Begley, Clerk

Carl Hooper, ALT Clerk & Planning Board


(1)    Call to order 6:00pm by Mayor Jim Wallace


(2)    Review of meeting minutes for June 2, 2009. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Gene Tweedy and seconded by Dick Iobst.  Approved.


(3)    Announcements from Mayor Jim Wallace.  Mayor Jim Wallace stated that he would like the minutes to show that he would like to set the record straight about an implication that was made about former Mayor Jim Davis executing the Village entrance without any approval from the Council.  Mayor Jim Wallace stated that all money spent on that entrance went before the Council and that the Council voted to let Jim Davis take care of planning the sign after there was no interest in Jim Davis’s request for assistance.


There was an error stated at the June meeting that the deadline to run for Mayor and Council seats was July 31st.  This date was written in error on the June meeting minutes.  The deadline was July 17th at noon.  Jim Wallace stated that he was out of town and missed the deadline but will still be running for the Mayor position.  Even though he missed the deadline to put his name on the ballot, he can still be voted in with write-ins. 


(4)    Written suggestions/comments from Linda Dickert.  Jim Wallace read a write-in from Linda Dickert commenting on how South Country Club Drive is in need of repair where Rosanno’s construction took place.  Ms Dickert also commented on how paving the road from South to North Country Club Drive would be an expensive outlay initially but that money would be saved in the long run in maintenance.


Ms. Dickert’s write-in also had questions: “Is there any enforcement of the noise ordinance in FH?  If not, what changes would need to be made in order to enforce these ordinances?”  Jim Wallace responded by stating that the sheriff’s office should be called if the noise is out of hand and that the Village has police patrol scheduled. “Are rental property owners aware that the burden of tenant behavior, such as firing guns in the middle of the night, is part of their overall responsibility to the town of FH?”  Jim Wallace asked if anyone else has heard gun shots.  There was no response to that so Jim Wallace said he would get more information from her. “Who has the responsibility of entrance maintenance? Ken and I are willing to take several days/season to see that the entrance is properly maintained.”  Jim asked what was being overlooked and went over the current maintenance regime of landscape maintenance and lighting and water maintenance.  Someone stated that the weeds did get long before they were cut.   “We have had problems with dogs running the neighborhood off-leash…”  Jim Wallace asked if anyone else was encountering this problem and since nobody present was encountering a problem, Jim said he’d ask her more about it.



(5)    Jim Weir gave the financial report for the month of June and July, 2009.  Jim reported that fiscal year ending June 2009 ended with $66,839 in revenues for the year and $35,454 in expenditures resulting in a surplus of $31,385.  Jim Weir reported activity for the month of July as $1023 in revenue and $3,857 in expenditures.  (Line item details of these reports can be found on the Village website under Budgets). 


Jim Weir, Finance Officer,  submitted recommendations to the Council on ways to reduce the Village insurance costs.

Jim Weir documented his evaluation on paper and went through each of the insurances line by line with the Council.  The Village currently has Worker’s Compensation, Property, Hired/Non-Owned Vehicle,  & Liability Insurances.  Jim Weir commented that for a small village we are paying too much and found several areas where costs could be reduced.  Discussion about each of these insurances.  A motion was made by Dick Iobst to adopt all of the recommendations made by Jim Weir to reduce insurance costs with the exception of canceling the Hired/Non-Owned Vehicle insurance.  This motion was seconded by Gene Tweedy. 


(6)    Gene Tweedy obtained estimates and recommendations for improving the non-state maintained roads in the Village.  The request for bids included paving and filling in potholes on portions of North Country Club Drive.  Discussion about the $30K+ amount of money held in the Village bank account restricted for Powell Bill Fund eligible expenses which this road falls under.  Discussion about the quotes going over this $30K+.  Kolleen Begley explained Powell Bill Funds to the residents that attended the meeting.   Jim Wallace suggested doing a portion of the recommendations this year and the rest next year to stay within what is in the account for Powell Bill Fund expenditures. Resident Angela Davis addressed the Council stating that she didn’t agree with the mindset of restricting the spending on road improvements to only what was available in Powell Bill Funds.  Ms. Davis made a statement that it doesn’t make sense to have a nice entrance and then have damaged roads. Dick Iobst stated that we shouldn’t be afraid to use some of the ad valorem tax money if the expenditure goes over what is available in Powell Bill Funds and that the Council should “do” for the people that elected them.  Gene Tweedy stated that based on the previous DOT meeting he attended it could be years before the State may be able to take over North Country Club if petitioned to do so. Jim Wallace said that we need to do our part first to get on their list.  A motion was made by Dick Iobst to approve the road improvements and to use up the money restricted for Powell Bill Fund expenditures and use other tax money to cover any amount that goes over the amount allocated from  Powell Bill Funds.  The motion was seconded by Gene Tweedy.  Approved.  Bids to be reviewed in a closed session later in the evening. Jim Wallace stated that he’d like to make sure there was enough money left in the budget in case we need snow removal or other urgent road maintenance this year.  Jim Weir, Finance Officer, requested that we revise the budget and take $15K out of the contingency account and move it to Road Maintenance: Non-Powell.  Dick Iobst made a motion to revise the budget and move $15K from the contingency account and move it to Road Maintenance: Non-Powell, seconded by Gene Tweedy.  Approved.


(7)    Kolleen Begley read the results of the Online Poll. 

Would you like to see your property taxes help pay for road maintenance on the non-state maintained roads?  Total votes = 27, 81% said yes, 19% said no.

Would you like to see your property taxes go to pay for upgrading (adding to) the Village entrance?  Total votes = 26, 85% said no, 15% said yes.

Would you like to see your taxes help obtain some green space or park for the Village?

Total votes = 30, 50% said no, 50% said yes.

Kolleen also distributed the website feedback forms to the Council members.


(8)    Community Watch Program  Discussion about block coordinators.  Kolleen Begley offered to be block coordinator for Forest Hills Estates.  Further discussion left for next meeting.  Discussion about purchasing signs and pens to mark personal belongings.  A motion was made by Dick Iobst to proceed in ordering 6 signs and pens, seconded by Gene Tweedy.  Approved. 


(9)    Historic Preservation Commission.  The Council approved the nomination of Carl Iobst to the Historic Preservation Commission of Jackson County.  Doug Painters nomination was not approved.



(10)NEW BUSINESS:  Clark Corwin gave an update on the Planning Board Progress.  The next Planning Board meeting is Tuesday, August 25th.   The following meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 8th in which the Council is invited and encouraged to attend.




(11)OLD BUSINESS:    None.



There being no further public business (and no other persons to be heard), a motion to move to closed session was made by Dick Iobst and seconded by Gene Tweedy.  The meeting adjourned and moved to a closed session at 7:36pm.